How to start an Internet Service Provider Business in Nigeria

HOW TO START AN INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER BUSINESS

By Ayoade Apelegan

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is an entity that connects people to the internet and provides other related services such as website building and hosting.

An entity offering transmission, routing or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of the material of user’s choice, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received.

If you are considering starting an internet service provider business, you should consider the following:

Get a comprehensive Business Plan

The business plan is a document that contains all information required to set up the business. A business plan sets out the business objective and the strategies put in place for achieving them.

Information contained in a business plan are:

  • An overview of the internet service provider business
  • Executive Summary
  • General company description
  • SWOT analysis
  • Market Research
  • Your Strategy
  • The Team
  • A marketing plan
  • An operational plan
  • Financial projection
  • An appendix

Register your business

One of the first things to consider when setting up a business is “Business Registration”.

Business Registration refers to the legal process used to form a new corporation. A corporation may be a business, a non-profit organization, a club, a charity organization, an association, etc.

In Nigeria, according to the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the statutory body legally empowered to incorporate a business.

Once the Certificate of Incorporation is issued to a business, it then means the business is a legal entity (can sue and be sued), distinct and separate from its owners.

Register for tax

A company incorporated in Nigeria is required to be registered with the relevant tax authorities for tax purposes. Following the incorporation of the company, a Tax Payer Identification Number (TIN) is automatically generated for the new company. This TIN is to be used when remitting taxes due to the Federal Government. Taxes imposed by State Governments require separate taxpayer registration.

You can also read Tax and Regulatory Matters for Foreign Investors in Nigeria

Filing of Annual Returns

The Annual Returns of a company is a yearly statement which gives essential information about a firm’s composition, activities, and financial position, and which must be filed by every active incorporated firm with an appropriate authority.

In Nigeria, it is a statutory requirement that all duly registered businesses and companies submit their annual returns yearly to the CAC.

New companies may not file its return within the first 18 months of its incorporation, while for older companies, the annual return is due no later than 42 days after its Annual General Meeting. Section 374 CAMA.

Conduct a Market Research

When starting an internet service provider business, conducting market research is as important as the business itself.

The market research will show that internet access is needed in homes, schools, workplace, religious places, shopping malls, public places such as airports, markets, libraries and recreational parks. All aspects of the economy need internet access.

These services may be free to the general public, free to customers only, or fee-based.

All these go to show or prove the point that the market in this business is endless and very vast.

How to start

Become a virtual internet service provider (VISP)

Virtual internet service providers (or VISPs) are local businesses who sell an already-established ISP’s services on to clients on the ISP’s behalf.

Similarly to a franchised business model, VISPs operate under the brand name of the ISP whose services they’re selling, benefiting from the brand recognition this affords.

To become a VISP, you’ll first need to do some research into which ISP you’d like to join. Get in touch with brands who have VISPs and ask about the packages they offer.

Once you’ve requested to become a VISP for a brand, you’ll be asked to sign an agreement. Be sure to go through this carefully so that you know what to expect from the arrangement.

Usually, an ISP will sell connectivity services to you at a discounted price, which you can then sell on to your local customers at a marked-up cost, collecting revenues from these sales. A lot of ISP brands will also require you to pay them a setup fee.

Start your ISP

The more difficult and expensive option, starting your ISP from scratch and providing your very own internet services – rather than those of another ISP – requires plenty of complex expertise, equipment and a hefty injection of capital.

First, you’ll need to find a facility that can suitably house your hardware. Ideally, this will have plenty of space for you to safely route your equipment. You’ll also need to install a reliable cooling system, as the equipment will be damaged if it overheats.

To gain connectivity, there are a variety of options; including fiber optic cables, Wi-Fi, peering arrangements and Ethernet. Some methods will be more expensive and require more upheaval than others; for example, you’ll need to lay fiber optic cables underground.

Find a Niche

To stay relevant in the Internet Service Provider business, it is advisable to pick a niche that will give you the timely focus and leverage you need to achieve success.

Niches in ISP business includes:

Web hosting

Hardware and software consulting

Provision of wired broadband internet access

Provision of wired narrowband internet access

Provision of internet backbone and carrier services etc.

Get necessary licenses and permits

Starting an internet service provider business in Nigeria will require you to get a license from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Nigerian Communications Commission is the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The Commission is responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.

Licensing Application Process

Licensing Application Process

There are two types of licenses granted by the Nigerian Communications Commission. They are:

  • Individual License
  • Class License

Licensing Application Process

  • An Individual License is a type of authorization in which the terms, conditions and obligations, scope and limitations are specific to the service being provided. Process of licensing can take the form of Auction, “First Come First Served”, “Beauty Contest” or a standard administrative procedure, etc.
  • A Class License is a type of general authorization in which the terms and conditions/obligations are common to all license holders. Requires only registration with the Commission for applicants to commence operation.

Our focus in this article, Internet Service Provision Service falls under the individual license category.

Individual License Application Requirements

  • Application form for ₦1,000.00 payable to Nigerian Communications Commission
  • Fill the form and produce two copies of the form (2 copies).
  • Also, attach copies of relevant documents:
  • Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Tax Clearance Certificate.
  • A certified true copy of Articles & Memorandum of Association.
  • A certified true copy of form CO7
  • Feasibility report of proposed service applied for (where applicable).
  • 3 Passport photographs of authorized representative.
  • Passport photographs of Directors of the company
  • Applications should be submitted in triplicates with all necessary documents attached, all spiral bound.
  • Enquiries should be made to the Commission for the appropriate amount before payment.
  • On submission of the form, a non-refundable administrative charge; which is 5% of the relevant license fee would be paid
  • The license fee is payable on approval of the application

License Fees & Pricing

The Fee Structure for a license is as stated below. This took effect in January 2007 and is currently in effect till the date of this publication.

Service                                                            Validity                                   Fee (₦)

Internet Services (ISP)                                    5 years                                     500,000

How to make payment

Payments can be made via the following ways;

  • At any branch of any Bank nationwide
  • With debit/credit card (MasterCard, Verve, Visa)
  • Using your internet Banking site
  • By Digital Wallet/ Mobile Money
  • Using your REMITA profile (for registered REMITA users).
    The payment platform can be accessed through the NCC website (www.ncc.gov.ng) or the REMITA website (www.remita.net)

From the NCC website (www.ncc.gov.ng)

  1. Follow the REMITA payment option logo to access the NCC payment page.
  2. Select the Service Type that you are paying for.
  3. For some services, the system displays the applicable fees, otherwise enter the amount payable.
  4. Submit to generate a Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) – a unique payment reference for your transaction. This should be presented at any payment channel.
  5. Select your preferred payment channel to make payment.

From the Remita website (www.remita.net)

  1. Click “Pay FGN and State TSA” link.
  2. Select “Federal Government of Nigeria”
  3. Type the name of MDA “Nigerian Communications Commission”
  4. Select the Service you are paying for or Purpose of payment
    Note:  For payment of License fee, for the application submitted manually, kindly select “Continue payment of License fees” or “Nigerian Communications Commission fee”. Do not select License fee, as the selection of License fee will re-direct you to the online license application portal.
  5. Provide a brief description of the service you are paying for.
  6. Based on enquires/ confirmation from the Commission, the payment platform displays the applicable fees, otherwise enter the amount payable.
  7. Click “Proceed to Payment” to generate a Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) – a unique payment reference for your transaction.
  8. Payment could be concluded online by selecting your preferred payment channel or at through any bank of your choice by presenting the generated RRR to the bank.

Get Insurance

When you run a business, you assume responsibility for the well-being of a range of people, from employees to customers. Your business activities have the potential to affect these stakeholders in serious and costly ways, and business insurance protects you financially from some of these consequences.

Financing your Internet Service Provider Business

Establishing an Internet service provider business is capital intensive.

Financing options available for anyone interested in starting an internet service provider business are:

  • Partnership
  • Service charge
  • Angel investors
  • Personal savings
  • Venture Capitals
  • Loans and grants
  • Alternative funding source like Crowdfunding

Professional Certification

Professional certification in the Internet service provider business includes;

CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert.

CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional.

JNCIE-ENT: Juniper Networks Certified Enterprise Routing and Switching Expert.

WCNA: Wireshark Certified Network Analyst.

CompTIA Network+

Marketing

Strategies for Boosting your Brand Awareness and Creating a Corporate identity

You can use several different strategies to boost brand awareness and retain loyal customers for months and years to come. Have it in mind that brand awareness and increasing customer loyalty is an ongoing project and you can choose several strategies that will help you generate a strong customer base your business needs.

From staying active on social media sites to simplifying the buying process, implement some proven strategies to develop a brand affinity for your business. Other strategies may include…

Make it easy for customers to buy from you.

Stay active on social media.

Be transparent.

Stay in touch.

Deliver outstanding customer service.

Attending exhibitions and trade shows

Attending trade shows and exhibitions will give you the necessary exposure as an internet service provider.

Strong social media presence

Your internet service provider business must have a strong social media presence. Social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, can be used to maintain existing relationships with customers, as well as to get leads and gain more customers. One of the ways through which you can keep your social media page alive is through regular posting, and engaging in user-generated content.

Build an Online Presence

You should ensure that during a search on the internet, your website comes out top in the search results. Among other things, you should ensure is that your website is easy to navigate and should be responsive for mobile devices as well as updating it regularly.

Click here to read How to Start an Electronics Retailer Business in Nigeria

Choosing a location for your ISP Company

When choosing a location for your ISP business, factors to consider include:

Viable relay sites: To get the best service, your customers must have a direct line of sight with their dedicated relay site. You can use radio towers, water tanks, buildings, and even homes. Be sure that the region offers plenty of options when it comes to relaying sites because they will make or break your business.

Home density: The best locations for ISPs are places that have low-lying houses. For places with tall buildings, that create issues with relay sites, while rural areas do not have enough homes clustered together to facilitate efficient use of access point towers.

Types of houses/roofs: The roofs you are dealing with will determine how difficult or easy it is to install the needed equipment. This issue is often easy to solve by hiring different technicians who are comfortable with varying roof setups.

Area topography: Again, a line of sight issue will arise with hilly locations. Low-lying plains are usually best but that does not mean you cannot build a WISP business in other locations — it will just require more specific expertise and may cost a little more.

Fiber availability: You will need to find reliable broadband internet providers. Preferably, you should find a building that already has an excellent fiber connection so you do not have to pay for trenching. But you can also get Dedicated Internet Access and rent space from a data centre for your equipment.

Competition: Find a location where people are not happy with the ISP and you will have a much higher chance of penetrating the market.

Other factors are:

  • Planning restrictions
  • Local council charges and business rates
  • Local amenities
  • The number of competitors

Evaluate an Area

Before you start building anything or spend any money make sure that you’ve picked a geographical area with the right characteristics to allow you to meet your goals.

Usable Relay Sites

Your wireless network will consist of relay sites where you will install wireless access points that your customers will connect to. These can be on buildings, radio towers, water tanks, or even homes. To provide reliable, fast service each of your customers will need a line of sight from their rooftop to one of your relay sites. In other words, if you are standing at your relay site you should be able to see the customer’s rooftop and vice versa. In areas with a lot of trees, hills, or buildings this can be very difficult, even impossible.

Home Density

Suburbs tend to be great places for WISPs. If the area is too rural you won’t be able to fill up your towers enough to be profitable. In cities the large buildings cause a line of sight problems and many people live in apartment buildings.

Ideally, you’ll be able to add at least 50 customers to each tower. At a 10% take rate (which is pretty good but not unreasonable) that means you need to be able to see at least 500 rooftops within about 3-5 miles of your tower.

Types of houses/roofs

Some types of roof are easier to install on than others.

Shingle roofs are much easier to install on than tile roofs. If most of the roofs in your area are tile you’ll want to carefully plan how you’ll be able to do the customer installs.

In general, take a look at the home styles in your area and make sure you’d be comfortable working on the rooftops (or hiring a technician and asking them to work on the rooftop)

MDUs (Multiple Dwelling Units – apartment buildings, townhomes, attached condos, etc) bring up some unique challenges but can also be very profitable.

Topography

Remember that you’ll need line of sight from your relay sites to each of your customers. Hills can help with this – if you can install your relay site on a structure high up on a hill you might be able to serve a lot of homes.

Hills can also be a problem, of course – too many of them and you won’t be able to find a relay site that has a line of sight around the hills to enough homes.

An ideal situation is a valley surrounded by mountains with foothills – find places in the foothills to install your relay sites and you will be able to see all of the homes in the valley.

Fiber availability

You’ll need an upstream fiber connection to get your customers online. Sometimes you can also purchase Dedicated Internet Access from a data centre and also rent space on the data centre’s roof for your wireless equipment.

Ideally, you’ll find a building that already has a fiber connection (an ‘on-net’ building) so you don’t have to pay for any additional trenching, which can be very expensive.

Finding and activating your fiber connection will be one of the most time-consuming pieces of getting started with a WISP, so plan and get started early.

Competition

If the people in your area are already happy/complacent with the Internet service options that they have then you will have a hard time getting customers. Switching Internet providers is a hassle. Even though no one loves Comcast sometimes the service is just reliable enough to keep people from switching.

Fiber Providers

To start an ISP you’ll need a connection to the public Internet. In most cases, the best way to do this is to buy a fiber connection from an existing provider. Fiber is available in unexpected places sometimes – fiber is commonly installed using grant money and is sometimes left unused due to the expense of last-mile installation (getting the fiber from where it is to down the street at a customer’s home) and because of restrictions surrounding the grant money.

This may seem weird at first but in practice isn’t much of a problem – the business units that sell fiber to businesses vs sell Internet to homes are very much separate and happy to take your money.

How to Find On-Net Buildings

Ideally, you will be able to find a fiber connection that is:

Already built into a building (so you don’t have to pay to dig up the streets and run new fiber)

Close enough to your customer base to make a decent relay site

If you are building a network in the suburbs of a larger city you might start your search at the office buildings near the edge of the city. Often these buildings already have fiber available and they may be willing to lease roof space to you for your relay equipment.

There are usually other regional providers as well that will be specific to your area, so you may need to do some searching. These companies usually won’t give you a map of where they have service, but sometimes they will take a list of addresses and then tell you which ones are on-net. Make a list of buildings that you think would work for your needs and get the addresses and then start calling around to fiber providers.

You can also physically go to the area where you’re looking for fiber and look for fiber enclosures and hardware in the ground or on the exterior of buildings. Sometimes you’ll see boxes helpfully labelled as fiber infrastructure with the name of the company.

How much do I need?

You probably need less than you think. A 1Gbps fiber connection will easily serve 500-800 customers, regardless of the speed plans, you offer. Interestingly, customers don’t tend to use more data in total with higher speed packages – the average usage on the fiber connection ends up being about the same regardless of what speed plans you offer.

I like to think of it this way: Say I have 500 customers on a certain fiber connection. If that connection had unlimited bandwidth how much would the customers use in aggregate at the peak, and for how many minutes out of the day would they use more than 1Gbps? Right now even with a very tech-forward customer base, 500 customers will only rarely spike above 900 Mbps (0.9Gbps). That means that even at peak times a customer could still come on and run a speed test and get 100Mbps.

In general, I would recommend starting with a 1Gbps fiber for nearly all applications. You usually won’t save much money trying to get less than that even if you’ll never use it. Then just watch the usage and make sure to upgrade when you see it start to hit its capacity regularly.

Negotiate a Lease

Once you have found a building that you think has a fiber connection, try to contact the property manager and negotiate a lease to put your equipment there. Order the fiber connection as early as possible – it will take longer than you expect to be lit up. Expect at least 90 days even if the salesperson tells you otherwise.

Relay Sites

For this step, you’ll make a list of potential relay sites in your area. Once you have the list you can start trying to contact the property owners of the relay sites to negotiate a lease.

What makes a good relay site?

A good relay should have:

Line of sight back to your fiber or another relay – You’ll probably feed the relay site with a wireless backhaul, so you’ll need line of sight to something.

Line of sight to your customers – In most cases, you’ll want to be able to see several hundred rooftops from a relay to make sure it will be profitable.

Easy access to 115V AC Power – This is easy to overlook when you’re getting started. Make sure you have a place to plug in your equipment! Rooftops often do not have AC power outlets. Also, structures like telephone poles and water tanks often do not have easy access to AC power.

A place to mount your equipment – Make sure you can attach your equipment to the structure somehow.

24/7 access for maintenance 

You can also read How to Sell Your Business

How to identify potential relays

Drive around the streets in the area

Scan the horizon for buildings or other structures that are visible from the street. These could make good candidates for relay sites. If possible physically visit these locations – can you see lots of rooftops from those places?

Also note the height of the trees – are most houses surrounded by trees, and are the trees taller than the houses? If so that will be a problem.

Use a drone to survey the landscape from roof level

Go to a park or another open area and fly a drone with an attached camera to roughly the height of the rooftops and spin it around. Review your video footage and see if there are any potential relay sites visible above the trees. Then if possible visit the sites you found and fly the drone again – review that footage and see how many rooftops are visible. Remember to use your drone legally and responsibly.

Use Google Earth

Make sure you’re using Google Earth Pro. If you’re lucky the area you’ve chosen will have high-resolution topographic data available like this:

Even if you don’t have that high-res data you can still get a good idea about trees, foliage and buildings by looking at the satellite view. Zoom in close to the rooftops of the areas you’re trying to cover and then pan around and look at the horizon. Anything that pops up over the horizon might make a good relay site candidate. To run a viewshed:

Drop a place marker

Right-click the marker and select ‘Show Viewshed’ <– this is only available in Google Earth Pro

You might get a pop-up asking to move the height of the marker, just click ‘Adjust Automatically’

Hardware Platforms

Access Point / CPE Manufacturers

Here are some of the companies that make access point and CPE equipment. (Reminder: the Access Point goes at your relay site and multiple CPE devices can connect to it – one CPE device will go on each customer’s rooftop.)

In some cases, it’s possible to mix and match hardware manufacturers for Access Points and CPEs but you’ll get the best performance if you use the same for both.

Ubiquiti

If you’re unsure about what to choose, Ubiquiti is a great place to start. Ubiquiti hardware is not the best on all metrics but it is the cheapest and is very user-friendly. As of this writing, the latest Ubiquiti equipment is the AirMax AC platform and includes Access Points, CPE equipment and Backhauls.

Ubiquiti also makes most other equipment you will need to run a WISP like higher capacity backhauls, switches (outdoor and indoor) and routers.

MikroTik

MikroTik makes unlicensed wireless equipment as well as many other hardware products needed to run a WISP such as routers and switches.

Bai Cells

Bai Cells makes LTE equipment for use in fixed wireless networks. This is different from most other companies that use Wi-Fi chipsets with some software modifications. LTE has some distinct advantages over Wi-Fi descended systems.

Mimosa

Mimosa is a newer company gaining traction with low-cost products that compete with Ubiquiti.

Cambium

Another competitor to Ubiquiti and Mimosa.

Backhaul Manufacturers

Each of these companies makes a variety of Point to Point backhauls with different features and price points.

Siklu

BridgeWave#

SAF

Dragonwave

Other Equipment

Altelix

Small, inexpensive outdoor enclosures.

DDB Unlimited

Large rack-mount style outdoor enclosures. AC and heating options.

Shireen

Shireen makes a great, inexpensive, outdoor rated, shielded CAT5e cable.

MultiLink

Enclosures and various other items for carriers.

Network Topology

This section covers how to build the routing and switching topology for your network. Your needs will vary considerably based on the specifics of your network so if you’re not familiar with all of these concepts you may need to do some outside research

Terminology

These are terms that will come up while discussing network topology. If you are entirely unfamiliar with these terms you might want to start with some background reading.

Router – A device that sends packets to different destinations based on the packet’s destination IP address and the router’s routing table.

Public IP Addresses (v4 and v6) – An Internet address that is routable on the public Internet. All devices need to have a public Internet address to communicate on the Internet, and all addresses must be unique.

Private IP Addresses – Any of a set of IP addresses that are set aside to be used in private networks. These addresses can only be used on private/internal networks, not the Internet.

NAT – Network Address Translation. Allows devices that are using private IP Addresses get on to the Internet by sharing a Public IP Address.

Network Switch – A device that sends packets to different destinations based on the packet’s destination MAC address and the switch’s bridge table.

DHCP – Dynamic Host Control Protocol. A service that provides IP Addresses and DNS configuration for the devices on the network so they don’t have to be configured manually.

VLAN – Virtual LAN. Allows multiple logical LANs to co-exist on the same switching hardware.

The easiest, most straightforward network configuration resembles what you probably have in your network at home – a router with 1 public IPv4 address and all of the devices connected to it using private IP addresses and NAT to get to the Internet.

This configuration isn’t very scaleable due to having all of your customers on the same broadcast domain and sharing the same IP address, but it’s an OK place to start.

Making it Scaleable: Reduce NAT

With the above configuration, all of your customers are sharing a single IP address. This means that if one of them gets the IP address blocked from service (for sending spam, for example) then it’s blocked for everyone. Ideally, you would give each customer their IP address but there aren’t any more IPv4 addresses available.

If you can get more than one IPv4 address from your Fiber provider then go for it – you can configure your NAT to use a pool of IP addresses rather than just one, which is a little better.

You can also try to push your customer’s traffic to IPv6 as much as possible. IPv6 addresses are easy to come by and most equipment and many current web services support IPv6.

Segment Broadcast Domains

During normal network operation, all devices on the network emit ‘broadcast’ packets – packets that are sent to all other nodes on the same broadcast domain. With the above configuration, all of your customers are on the same broadcast domain, meaning that all of those packets will go to all of the customers and will quickly slow down the network. To avoid network congestion you’ll want to split your customers up into multiple broadcast domains.

Adding routers or using VLANs are both ways to break up your broadcast domains. Both are explained below.

Adding routers

Adding a router at each tower allows you segment broadcast domains to a single tower or even a single access point. Each tower can have its routed interface with the default route in the router pointing at the upstream relay’s router.

Pros:

Routing tables can be configured automatically using a routing protocol (like OSPF)

The network can more easily support redundant backhaul links

Cons:

Routers add more latency than switches

DHCP Configuration is more complicated

Routers are more expensive than switches (for the same performance)

Getting your routing protocol configuration right can be tricky, and not using one means lots of manual configuration

VLANs

A VLAN segmented network will use a switch at each tower rather than a router. A VLAN can be built from each access point to the core of the network. This allows each tower or even each access point to be on its routed interface with the router at the core of the network.

Pros:

Lower latency across the network

Less expensive

Easier DHCP configuration

Cons:

Requires more careful Spanning Tree Protocol configuration to avoid switching loops

More difficult to add backhaul redundancy

Enforcing Speed Packages

You will probably be selling your service with an associated speed package – say 30, 50 or 100Mbps. If you find that some customers are consistently using more than what they’re paying for then you’ll want to limit their max throughput so they don’t slow other customers down.

The easiest way to start doing this is to set limits in the CPE radio on their roof. All modern WISP equipment will allow you to configure the max throughput for download and upload speeds.

Customer Walkthrough

Start the install by walking through the process with the customer. Make sure to hit each of these points before you get started:

Roof equipment Make sure they’re OK with the equipment you’ll be putting on the roof and the location. Let them know that you’ll seal the roof where you install the mount.

Wireless Access Point Location Help the customer find the best place in their home for their wireless router. If they are switching to your service from another provider ask them if there are places in the house where the wireless signal isn’t great and see if you can help them find a better location. Note that you will need to get a cable from the roof outside the house to the router – balance the customer’s needs against your tools and ability to run the cable.

Cable Entry Point After you’ve decided where to place the customer’s wireless access point determine where to bring the cable in the house. You may need to drill a hole through a wall to bring the cable in (in a similar way to satellite TV or cable TV installations.) Let the customer know what you’ll be doing and respond to any of their concerns.

Cable Run Show them where you’re going to run the cable from the roof to the entry point. Try to hide the cable as much as possible using rain gutters or other features of the house

Ways to Advertise

The hard part about advertising for a WISP is avoiding advertising to customers who can’t get your service. Often you are only able to provide service to a single neighbourhood or even just part of a neighbourhood because of lack of line of sight to your tower. Advertising to homes where you can’t provide service is a waste of money and can also discourage customers who get excited about your service and call in only to find it’s not available.

Many WISPs start by advertising with door flyers. Hang flyers on the doors of the homes where you’re confident you can get coverage. Once you have some customers you can start to rely heavily on referrals – ask customers to refer their neighbours and consider giving a free month of service for every customer referred.

Selling to Businesses

Business Internet connections can be very lucrative and low maintenance. Many businesses rely heavily on their Internet connection and are willing to pay for a second connection just as a backup, especially if the second connection uses entirely separate infrastructure from the first one. Often, even if multiple providers are in a commercial building they all share at least some pieces of infrastructure so you have an advantage of selling an entirely separate connection.

Like most B2B sales the sales process can be long and very involved. Consider hiring a commission-based salesperson to go after large business accounts. Attend local business events and talk about your services. Familiarize yourself with the other options available to businesses in your area and define your products in competitive ways

Hardware equipment needed for an ISP company

The hardware required for an internet service provider business is:

Tower
Routers
Switches
Transmitters (AP’s)

Computers
CPE’s
Cable
DSL

Fibrenet

Power backup tools (UPS and generators)

Cooling equipment (Air condition)

Top Internet Service Providers in Nigeria:

  1. Cobranet Limited;
  2. Spectranet Nigeria;
  3. IPNX Nigeria Limited;
  4. Swift Network Limited; and
  5. Smile Nigeria
  6. Cyberspace Limited 
  7. MTN Nigeria
  8. Airtel Nigeria

References:

www.startups.co.uk

www.ncc.gov.ng

www.profitableventure.com

www.digital.com

www.startyourownisp.com

 

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